I just realized this morning that not only has Disney acquired Star Wars, Disney has also now entered into a relationship with one of the most active, devoted & proprietorial fan communities on the planet. As my sister (mother of two boys & wife of a 40 year old Star Wars die-hard fan) told me, ‘You out grow Sponge Bob. You don’t outgrow Star Wars.’
Now how exactly will Disney deal with the proliferation of fan-made content, remixing, rewriting & generally messing around in the Star Wars story world? Lucas’ relationship with fans & fan-made content has a long & varied history. Henry Jenkins has written about this extensively (2006), as has Lawrence Lessig (2008). In a recent essay for Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation 2nd Edition on the impact of digital media on adaptation (product & practices), I wrote about Casey Pugh’s crowdsourced remake of Star Wars, viewable on YouTube, which in our Web 2.0 era, lives happily on the web and hasn’t been locked in a vault as was the 1980s fan remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Raiders: The Adaptation. I post an excerpt here as I will be watching in fascination to see how the future of Star Wars unfolds....
Gunther Sonnenfeld: "Things don't always go according to plan... And that's a good thing. A while back, my sister roped me into an independent project with Michael Caplan on the life and times of Nelson Algren."
We like to play with technology. We use technology to create interactive experiences, installations, happenings, or playful rendezvous. We combine Interaction Design with Experience Design with Engineering to invent incredibly memorable experiences.
Daniel Donahoo: "One of the most enjoyable games I’ve been a part of in recent times has been an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) being run by an innovative teacher from Australia" ...
DRC: Jess McCulloch's participation at StoryWorld 2012 last week sparked a lot of interest. So, here's an article from the archive which gives great insight into the fantastic work that she's doing ...
Mardi 23 octobre à 15:00 à la Friche de la Belle de Mai... Son enjeu : tracer les perspectives à la production, la diffusion, et la vente ou commercialisation de ce type d’objets transmédia que sont les web documentaires. Comment passer d’un usage d’innovation d’écriture à une perspective d’échange économique avec des professionnels, des publics ? Comment financer la création ?
The diversity of the audience and the speaker panels makes this conference so fascinating, but also almost completely impossible to condense into something that doesn’t sound like a breathless 12-year-old’s explanation of sleep-away camp.
Power to the Pixel was held in London for the 6th year in a row, showing the world of media production that transmedia is more than a trend: it is a logic of production and an marketing strategy that fits the needs of our global media world....
...Fictional narrative lends itself very well to the idea of cross-media development: first do the viral campaign, then build your community online, release the film and then elongate the life of your film with a game… so it can appear more flexible to this multiple packaging strategy- and maybe fictional producers are more used to think in terms of profits and life-cycles… And yet, Power to the Pixel is here to prove us that things are not so clear, and that a possible transmedia strategy is to mix fiction and factual under a unique umbrella, craftfully using different languages for different purposes . Four out of ten presentations this year were linked to factual content. Although a documentary film might not have always been the core proposition of such projects, some factual elements always seemed to be part of the mix.
This is for example the case of the soon to be launched iPad version of the War Horse book (a Touch Press & Illuminations & Egmont Press collaboration out on the 11th of November) where the core proposition is a book, but the interactive enhancement includes a timeline that allows the reader to link the story of the book with the day to day events that happened in the real world. Matching fiction (the story of the horse) with factual (what happened in the real world during the time of the story) becomes a clever educational hook to be used by teachers at school. Not incidentally, this new proposition has high chances to increase both the sells of the book and of the iPad version, making War Horse a must have for innovative teachers that do not see the book as a stand alone anymore. The film, the play and the iPad are more than mere translations of the original story: they potentially are ways to learn history, compassion, courage through a storyworld. And the iPad here is what makes the linking between factual and fiction fluid and fun: interactive tools are relational at their core and transmedia might just be about creating bridges in archipelagos .
The second thing that I have noticed this year is that films might not be the cash makers anymore. The viral campaign that preceded The Blair Witch Project in 1999 (often cited as a pioneer of transmedia) was meant to create a curiosity phenomenon so that the film would be a success. More than ten years after, the film element is not always crucial to the transmedia proposition....
On Friday the 26th of October, I attended Portal Entertainments Immersive Writing Lab at Ravensbourne College in Greenwich...
...Mike Jones, Portal’s “Head of Story”, delivered a talk from Sydney. Despite the tortuous Skype connection and numerous false starts, the value of what he had to say was undiminished. Practical advice on writing ‘transmedia’ experiences is still thin on the ground, and (when we were able to hear him) the room eagerly devoured his tips.
Mike explained that writing for multimedia is difficult because there is no discipline or convention yet, because of the convolution of structures and forms the media bring, and because the writing process often feels messy, incoherent & unsatisfying compared to more conventional writing. However, audience expectations are changing, Mike said. They expect the story to be bigger than the platform, with multiple points of entry. For those familiar with writing and reading stories in digital ways, interaction is increasingly the norm.
Mike has devised some key principles of writing for transmedia:
1: World first, then plot. “Create a vibrant pressure-cooker world, full of natural dramatic oppositional forces,” said Mike. 2: Everything that mattered, still matters. Action, tension, drama, etc. It is all relevant for new platforms. 3: First person, present tense. Test the immersiveness of your story by putting it into present tense. 4. Role-play. Give your audience an active and meaningful role in the story. A good interactive role has motivation, action and reward. Compel your audience to interact, don’t assume they want to. 5. Interactive, online & multiplatform is episodic storytelling. Think about when dramatic questions are asked and when & where (on which platform) are they answered? (I liked Mike’s observation here that “We are creatures of worry” – in stories, we enjoy these anxieties and dilemmas.)
Mike emphasised the need to build on the similar, and discover the different and new – don’t focus or start from the aspects which make your story different from a traditional one....
Ten years ago, the major advertisers had big budgets they spent on both media buying and the creation of content...
The Best Job in the World
Much like most people can tell you exactly where they were when they heard major news events, I can tell you exactly what I was doing when I first stumbled across the brilliant Best Job in the World Campaign back in 2009.
The amazingly viral, and at the time, inventive, publicity stunt offered a ‘job’ as an island caretaker in the #Great Barrier Reefwith a salary of AUD $150,000 for a six-month stint. It helped that the campaign was rolled out in January, where people in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere were in the depths of winter (making those Australian Beaches seem that much more appealing).
The campaign went insanely viral and solicited 34,000 user-submitted videos and applications total. The entire campaign was user generated and encouraged engagement. A shortlist was created from the 34,00 submissions, and then a wildcard candidate was crowdsourced. It was an inexpensive, clever idea that ended up being incredible successful, viral campaign with a huge ROI....
A growing body of university research suggests that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception. The specific benefits are wide ranging, from improved hand-eye coordination in surgeons to vision changes that boost night driving ability.
People who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy, according to a study. Indeed, the most adept gamers can make choices and act on them up to six times a second—four times faster than most people, other researchers found. Moreover, practiced game players can pay attention to more than six things at once without getting confused, compared with the four that someone can normally keep in mind, said University of Rochester researchers. The studies were conducted independently of the companies that sell video and computer games....
There's so much lurking in that word, "annotate." In essence, Hanke is saying: What parts of the digital world do you want to see appear in the physical world?
If a Field Trip notification popped up about John Hanke, it might tell you to look for the East Bay hipster with floppy hair almost falling over his eyes. He looks like a start-up guy, and admits to being one despite his eight years at Google. He refers to its cofounders like old college friends. ("Sergey was always big on, 'You should be able to blow stuff up' [in Google Earth].") Not a kid anymore, Hanke sold an early massively multiplayer online gaming company to the legendary Trip Hawkins in the '90s, then co-founded Keyhole, which became the seed from which Google's multi-thousand person map division grew.
When maps got too big for Hanke's taste, he "ultimately talked with Larry" [Page], and figured out how to create an "autonomous unit" to play with the company's geodata to create novel, native mobile experiences. This is Google's Page-blessed skunkworks for working on this very specific problem. They are Google but they have license to be unGoogle.
Storytelling is the magic sauce that allows the brand to become more than an entity, but to be an experience -- an experience that aids the consumer in the decision-making process. Ultimately, a social brand story appeals to the emotional, removes the fear, and builds trust.
Studio Roosegaarde is an international design laboratory for interactive projects such as ‘Dune’ and ‘Sustainable Dance Floor’. This link between ideology and technology is what artist Daan Roosegaarde calls ‘techno-poetry’.
Transmedia 101 presents Jon Reiss: Think Outside the Box Office...
Jon Reiss’ approach is a practical, step by step guide to create a unique distribution and marketing strategy for your film. During the master class participants will learn:
Goal Assessment Audience Identification Ways to connect with and build an audience for your work. Social media, organizational partnership and crowdfunding essentials. How to create a robust Live Event/Theatrical release. How to create merchandise that audiences will want to buy. A new approach to conceptualizing digital rights and their monetization. How to coordinate the timing of their various rights & marketing strategies. How to integrate the exciting new world of transmedia into their work. What is a Producer of Marketing and Distribution & how they can help you.
More and more entertainment companies are building large complex story worlds and sharing the storytelling load among different types of media.
Technology is changing the way we receive and experience entertainment. Over the course of three or four posts, I want to talk about several interesting trends in storytelling. Today’s post looks at three new storytelling worlds, each of which span a variety of media platforms, and examines why the entertainment industry will be producing more of them for the foreseeable future.
The germination time for an idea in the corporate entertainment industry seems to be about two to three years. That is about the time it takes to make an idea into a movie, a game, or a book, for that matter. A few years ago, the word “transmedia” became a hot topic among entertainment circles. We are already seeing the results with much more on the way in the next couple of years.
Henry Jenkins, USC professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts defines transmedia this way:...
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